Training for the RRG...


Original Post
pfinnegan · · Boulder, CO · Joined May 2004 · Points: 10

....without much climbing.

So I took my first trip to the Red last spring as a last-minute audible. My partner and I made an 11th hour decision to deviate from a Red Rock trip in favor of the Red. As a result, my emphasis on training strength and power was off target. I pretty much got crushed.

I had heard about but was not truly prepared for the sustained nature of the routes. Microscopically, any move on any route I tried felt reasonable, but the totality of these moves left me pretty wrecked. After a decent initial push, I found myself doing a lot of bolt-to-bolt climbing, hopelessly gassed.

Turns out I'm a Front Range climber, which I think means climbing acutely difficult sections between excellent rests.

In a few months (April), I will return to the Red and I'd like to put on a better performance. Problem is, my life demands are such (kids, wife, work) that I really can't climb all that much to prepare - I have approximately 1 hour each day to train. And then I can pull off a half day of climbing, let's say twice a month.

I'm a few weeks into a repeater & max-hang hangboard block (1 of each session per week). Then, I'm climbing at the gym once a week, trying doubles on routes a couple of grades below my onsite limit. The other days I do core/antagonist work, and one block of weighted pull-ups.

I was thinking I'd end the hangboard stuff after 6-8 weeks, replacing it with campus (power) training for 3-4 weeks. All the while maintaining my 1x gym visit doing doubles, and eventually, I hope, triples.

And then from there until the trip, I figured I really put some effort into PE. Linked bouldering circuits, 4x4s, etc. I figured that given my first experience at the Red, I'd expand my attention and effort to this PE training, and hopefully be able to extend the amount of time in which I can climb in the anaerobic/lactic zone.

But I'm unsure that I have diagnosed my shortcomings correctly, or that I have come up with a good plan for the RRG.

Instead of doing doubles in the anaerobic zone (2-3 letter grades below onsight level), should I be on the wall for 30 minutes straight trying to improve my aerobic/anaerobic transition? Or should I be trying to get stronger via hangboard (repeater and max hang), hopefully dragging up my transition point?

Should I forego training power explicitly in favor of PE or more route climbing?

How do people in my situation train for climbing at the RRG?

Help!

Mike McKinnon · · Golden, CO · Joined Aug 2003 · Points: 25

eat meat then crush:)

Mike McKinnon · · Golden, CO · Joined Aug 2003 · Points: 25

seriously I think your aerobic cap is suffcient but your aerobic power will be stressed at the red more than anarobic power. If you had 8 weeks to plan I would do 4 weeks of 2x an cap (max hangs, repeaters) 2x aer cap 4x4 routes and 1x aer power (limit bouldering) onand then 4 weeks before taper off the cap work to 1x and switch to 2x aer power (foot on campasing, 4x4 boulders) and 2x an power (limit bouldering and linked circuit bouldering)

You can combine energy systems in one work out too:
Str>AN Power>An Cap>Aer Power>Aer Cap.

I have been doing MAx hangs, Campus ladders (an cap) and aer cap all in one session. In that order.

Q-man · · Calumet, CO · Joined Jul 2013 · Points: 0

Move to Slade.

grog m aka Greg McKee · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 0

Fingerstrength :: hangboarding
Aerobic Power :: Short/Medium Runs + Bouldering
Weight/Energy/Overall fitness :: DIET!!!!!!

What is your diet? Because Diet is huge!!! I used to consider myself a "healthy person" until I ACTUALLY committed to a 10 day cleanse of mostly vegetables (80% of diet = veggies, 20% = whatever I want so usually chicken or tuna).

WOW. I lost 10 pounds, went from 165-150, and now I maintain 155. I fling myself around like a spider monkey. Not only that, but I am energized throughout the whole day. And the thing is, my exercise routine didn't change at all!

Yeah, yeah, only freaks and vegans commit to diets. But I am not messing around. It will change your life. If you want to send to impress girls and your friends, consider changing your diet.

Eric Carlos · · GJ · Joined Aug 2008 · Points: 30

Get a membership at The Spot, get on the treadwall, and over the next couple months work towards about a 30 degree overhang for multiple bouts of 10-20 minute intervals.

pfinnegan · · Boulder, CO · Joined May 2004 · Points: 10

Hey - thanks for all of the responses.

Mike: 4x4s are aerobic cap and limit bouldering is aerobic power? I need to read that Barrows PDF. I thought limit bouldering was near max effort.

Grog: I eat pretty healthy, no meat/poultry, but yes to fish. I try for mostly whole foods, but have a few vices (cheese, greek yogurt, tortilla chips). I think I could probably abstain from those a couple of weeks out from the trip. But truthfully, I'm lean enough to be concerned that any weight loss would drag down my power/strength/energy.

Q: Ha. In another life perhaps.

Eric: This is an excellent thought. I may do this.

FYI I also posted up @ RCTM; Mark Anderson replied with some great insights as one would expect:

RCTM thread

Ted Pinson · · Chicago, IL · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 45

Greek Yogurt is a vice? lol unless you're eating flavored crap that stuff is as good as it gets: high protein, calcium, probiotics...not something I'd lose sleep over eating.

JCM · · Seattle, WA · Joined Jun 2008 · Points: 5
Eric Carlos wrote:Get a membership at The Spot, get on the treadwall, and over the next couple months work towards about a 30 degree overhang for multiple bouts of 10-20 minute intervals.
+1. This would be extremely effective and time efficient.
JNE · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 1,830

Taking a trip to the RRG is a goal of mine at some point so I have put some thought into this. My plan would be to, prior to going out there, spend 4-6 weeks doing linked boulder problems on 30-50 degree overhanging walls which were comparable in length to the routes I wished to climb. I like this because one can customize the intensities to match the overall structure of the routes, and the difficulty can be very incrementally increased each workout by doing simple things like changing the order of the boulders in a given link (do the hardest one increasingly late in the link), changing holds on a given boulder, or swapping out an easier problem for a harder one. I would do a mix of not really resting except to quickly shake while chalking, and resting quite often on big holds on steep terrain. I would do a little bit of power each session as well to keep my power up, preferably by doing the hardest regularly sent problem from my previous block of limit bouldering or by a little campusing. This is to maintain fast twitch muscle mass as you pound your endurance system (otherwise I theorize that the endurance will largely accomplish a partial muscle conversion). This way the limits your system must overcome will drive it to seek more resources and become more efficient on the ones you have. I also find this to be a nice compromise between the goals with respect to either onsighting or redpointing which Mark talks about on your thread at his site.

As far as the heart training goes, I would do some cardio (I like road biking because it is low impact) to get my heart in shape instead of ARC. The theory behind this is the resting linked bouldering laps will build the capillarity one is seeking with the ARC training, and the cardio will more effectively do a more thorough job of training the whole aerobic system, especially and most importantly the heart. The reason to do this is if the heart is strong your pulse will be lower relative to your muscle strain compared to before so you will feel more peace of mind while pulling hard, you will have more force production ability in your heart so it will do a more effective job of flushing the blood while you shake or otherwise let go of the rock with either hand, and your ability to get oxygen into your blood will be maximized. I have found that 30-40 min sessions that leave me with a solid endorphin high once and sometimes twice a week to be quite effective if accumulated over time, and when you can replace some of those sessions with sprint intervals you will really notice a difference. I prefer to think of the heart as just another muscle which needs training, and which is most effectively targeted through cardio using either the whole body or legs.

Whether you take any of this advice, good luck with your training and trip and hopefully it works out well for you :)

zach ruswick · · Grand Ledge, MI · Joined Jun 2012 · Points: 5

I've lived in the gorge for three seasons, and I'll start by warning you it really takes like two weeks to get in RRG shape. When I get there every year I try to do as many big days of twelve to fifteen pitches as I can before I start working anything. It's almost impossible to recreate in a gym, especially with only being able to go one or two days a week. That being said, the best simulation is probably going to be spending a few weeks staying on the wall for long periods on time on overhanging terrain. After that it's going to important to be able to pull hard moves particularly at the end of the a long series of moves. 4x4s will be essential, and linked boulders, where you're climbing problems just a little below your max on the way up, then down easier ones is pretty simulative, but the key is going to not resting too much and learning to move while pumped. Another thing that might help is work on circuits of around 60 moves, with the last ten or fifteen being hard. In my experience most routes there aren't more than 60 actual moves but the time spent hanging on your arms adds up exponentially making a v2 crux at 50 feet feel like v8. I don't know how long you're planning on going but I always focus on volume at places where's there's a wide variety of routes about a number grade below my red point level when I first get there in order to get in actual RRG shape. I hope this helps, and I'd be happy to answer anymore questions you might have.

highaltitudeflatulentexpulsion · · Colorado · Joined Oct 2012 · Points: 0

The feet are almost exclusively excellent at the red and the hand holds are always great and close together. It's a waste of time to concern yourself with power for a trip there.

Just climb as many steep routes as you can. Practice shaking out on jugs and catching your breath.

Sandbagger Vance · · Cincinnati, Ohio · Joined May 2016 · Points: 0

Aerobic Restoration and Capillary Training

"What is ARC training? Aerobic Restoration and Capillarity, or ARCing, is a training approach to develop aerobic endurance by encouraging vascular development. In the world of climbing, the goal is to climb for 20 to 40 minutes without surpassing your “anaerobic threshold.” Many articles say this is no more than 30% of your maximum strength.

The continuous climbing in ARCing keeps blood flowing through the capillaries, forcing them to stay completely open. Over time this steady blood pressure on the capillary walls will stimulate the growth of new capillaries. The result is a greater level of aerobic endurance and the ability to climb more moves before needing to call upon your anaerobic endurance or ‘power endurance’ (often associated with 4×4 training, etc.)." -Jon Vickers

"http://blog.momentumclimbing.com/?p=310"

Mike McKinnon · · Golden, CO · Joined Aug 2003 · Points: 25
pfinnegan wrote:Hey - thanks for all of the responses. Mike: 4x4s are aerobic cap and limit bouldering is aerobic power? I need to read that Barrows PDF. I thought limit bouldering was near max effort. Grog: I eat pretty healthy, no meat/poultry, but yes to fish. I try for mostly whole foods, but have a few vices (cheese, greek yogurt, tortilla chips). I think I could probably abstain from those a couple of weeks out from the trip. But truthfully, I'm lean enough to be concerned that any weight loss would drag down my power/strength/energy. Q: Ha. In another life perhaps. Eric: This is an excellent thought. I may do this. FYI I also posted up @ RCTM; Mark Anderson replied with some great insights as one would expect: RCTM thread
sorry think I missed type. Depending on your rest times 4x4 can be aer power or an power.

AEr power 4x4 with rest times equal to work time

An power 4x4 with rest time of 10 minutes

Linked bouldering would be good too. Link several boulder routes together that mimic the lenght of the RRG.

I like the treadwall idea....
Eric Carlos · · GJ · Joined Aug 2008 · Points: 30

The other cool thing about the treadwall at The Spot is you can reach over, hit the stop button, shake for a couple minutes, then start it again, so you can more closely simulate outdoor climbing at the Red. There are very few routes that don't offer a decent shake hold every 10-30 ft.

Ted Pinson · · Chicago, IL · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 45

Not to mention the glorious sit down ledges. ;)

Mark E Dixon · · Sprezzatura, Someday · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 234

I love the treadwall, but be aware that the speed control has been really finicky lately.There seem to be only two speeds that work. You can get a high speed easily (30 seconds for a full rotation) but to get a slower speed (50 second rotation time) can be a challenge, even impossible. So don't count on stopping the wall then restarting.

You might also want to check out the Lattice epic TV series, in particular the endurance and power endurance episodes-

http://www.epictv.com/media/podcast/lattice-training-the-20-minute-endurance-boost/605825

https://www.epictv.com/media/podcast/lattice-training-power-endurance/605870

zach ruswick · · Grand Ledge, MI · Joined Jun 2012 · Points: 5
Eric Carlos wrote:The other cool thing about the treadwall at The Spot is you can reach over, hit the stop button, shake for a couple minutes, then start it again, so you can more closely simulate outdoor climbing at the Red. There are very few routes that don't offer a decent shake hold every 10-30 ft.
Eric, what's good man?
Madeline Farmer · · Oakland, California · Joined Sep 2014 · Points: 0

I would say the best thing to focus on with the red is endurance and power endurance. Running doubles and 4x4s would be key! You can even switch up the bouldering routine by adding down climbs: up climb V6, down climb V4, up climb V7, downclimb V4 etc. Another less boring way to train endurance.

Also it would be beneficial to try and be on the wall for 30 minutes straight, build base endurance. Once you are able to build up some base endurance, then you can start training the power! Aka hangboard, campus board, etc. It's also important to get those tendons up to strength before entering a hangboard/campus phase; prevent injury before it happens.

Eric Carlos · · GJ · Joined Aug 2008 · Points: 30
zach ruswick wrote: Eric, what's good man?
As in good routes? Everything! Or almost everything.
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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